Several years ago, a campaign entitled “WWJD” spread through western Christianity. The initials stood for “What would Jesus do?” The campaign received a mixed response because the answer was clearly subjective, depending on who was answering.
But this section of Scripture is unique. It contains the dictated letters of Jesus written to churches started 30-45 years previously. This particular verse comes from the letter written to the church in Smyrna, which is in modern Turkey.
Jesus gives His perspective, which is ultimately the only perspective that matters. First He tells the members of this church that though they may be physically poor, they are in fact eternally rich. Second, He tells them that those who are slandering them out of their supposed faith in God are actually followers of Satan.
The perspective of Jesus is often very different than the perspective of the world.
Because we live surrounded and submersed in this world, it is very difficult to maintain the right perspective on the events and conditions of our life. We naturally begin to adopt the view of those around us and can’t help but be influenced by the perspective of the world.
Fortunately, the Lord has provided a way for us to maintain an eternal perspective.
Since we have the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we have the ability to ascertain the perspective of Jesus. We are able to go to God in prayer and ask Him to reveal to us through the Spirit and through the Word the perspective of Jesus.
Developing and maintaining the perspective of Jesus is very helpful in the practice of medicine as we seek to impact our patients spiritually. The perspective of Jesus explains why there is suffering in this world. In the verses following those quoted above, He tells His faithful followers in Smyrna that they are going to suffer and eventually die.
Sometimes the perspective of Jesus allows suffering.
As Christian healthcare professionals, we are often in the position to help patients understand that suffering.
Maintaining the perspective of Jesus enables us to do that.
Prayer: Lord, help me maintain Your perspective as I encounter the suffering of my patients today.